Latest news and stories

22 people smiling in a group standing outside

Communities driving health care research

“It’s about coming with an open mind and heart, and willingness to deeply listen to community… to have any preconceptions challenged and re-learn ways of doing research.” 
– Dr Veronica Matthews , co-lead investigator, STRengthening systems for InDigenous healthcare Equity (STRIDE)

  • InFocus
  • 14 March 2023
portrait photo of person facing the camera

Making a decision to do the hard research, that’s what discovery is about

Deciding to commit to a research life is brave – so is committing to do the hard research. Professor Cath Chamberlain says with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, in particular, "we are going to need to take some more risks to do things differently". 

  • InFocus
  • 31 May 2022

Research excellence: Build grit and set out a plan

Doctor Simon Graham is an epidemiologist in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne. He received the 2021 Sandra Eades Investigator Grant Award (Emerging Leadership) for his research which aims to increase opportunistic sexually transmitted infections (STI) testing to identify asymptomatic infections early so treatment is provided to prevent poor health outcomes.

  • InFocus
  • 27 May 2022

Internship brings entirely new set of skills

Sharna Motlap has always been interested in creating and implementing evidence-based programs specifically tailored to Indigenous communities. 

  • InFocus
  • 12 May 2022

HEAL national research network addressing the health effects of environmental change

The Healthy Environments and Lives National Research Network (HEAL) was announced at the end of 2021 with a grant of $10 million over five years, as an NHMRC Special Initiative to provide national and international leadership in environmental change and health research. HEAL formally starts in May 2022; a lot of groundwork has been done to create the foundations for a large and diverse collaboration to deliver its ambitious work plan over the next five years and beyond.

  • InFocus
  • 7 April 2022

Crossing disciplines to answer complex research questions

University of Adelaide's Professor Ian Olver received the 2021 NHMRC Ethics Award in recognition of his significant contribution to Australian health and medical research ethics over the last decade. As chair of NHMRC’s Australian Health Ethics Committee, and as a valued member of NHMRC Council from 2012 to 2018, his balanced and considered leadership style and willingness to engage sensitively on tough issues supported a wider understanding of the ethical impact of emerging health and medical research innovations and technologies.

  • InFocus
  • 6 September 2021

Australian research delivers rapid Hep B test for earlier treatment

Hepatitis B is an infectious disease that causes the liver to become inflamed and contributes to increasing rates of liver cancer in Australia and globally.

  • InFocus
  • 26 July 2021

Improving kidney health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Associate Professor Jaqui Hughes from the Menzies School of Health Research received the 2019 NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Award at NHMRC’s Research Excellence Awards ceremony in March 2020. Kidney disease is a significant health priority among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The cohort study being led by A/Professor Hughes will describe the long-term changes in kidney function over 10 years. This will provide critical data to inform regional and national policy on identification and care of people with kidney disease.

  • InFocus
  • 18 September 2020

Aboriginal mental health research and the importance of resilience

Developing better understanding of effective therapeutic practices with Aboriginal clients, in Aboriginal community settings, and with Aboriginal practitioners, across the spectrum of mental health and social and emotional wellbeing outcomes is the goal of Dr Graham Gee.

  • InFocus
  • 10 July 2020

Almost $400 million in world-leading health and medical research projects to improve the lives of all Australians.

The Investigator Grant scheme is NHMRC’s flagship scheme, developed as part of a major reform of NHMRC’s grant program. This is the second round of Investigator Grants to be awarded. A total of 237 leading researchers across all career stages will receive five-year Investigator Grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

  • InFocus
  • 20 May 2020

Making the maternal health system better for all women

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander maternal health, and rural and remote services are two key areas of research for Professor Caroline Homer.

  • InFocus
  • 23 May 2019

Goal to obliterate kidney disease

Compared to other Australians, Indigenous Australians are more likely to require dialysis support for severe end stage kidney failure, including at a younger age, and disproportionately affecting women.

  • InFocus
  • 5 February 2019

Leader in research

Working with communities is how Dr Mick Adams became a leader in his research to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men. 

  • InFocus
  • 4 June 2018

Paving a clearer path for the future

Dr Kalinda Griffiths’ children are her inspiration and what motivated her to go back to university. She was first exposed to research after being dragged into a traineeship in the Menzies School of Health Research labs.

  • InFocus
  • 31 May 2018

Excellence in improving cancer outcomes

“Over the last 18 years cancer mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has increased by 21 per cent. This figure is especially stark when the rest of the population has actually seen a 13 per cent fall in cancer mortality rates”

  • InFocus
  • 31 May 2018

Excellence in ear and hearing health for Indigenous children

Less than ten per cent of Indigenous children have normal healthy ears 1 2 3

  • InFocus
  • 25 May 2018

Closing the gap for STIs

Disproportionate rates of STI diagnosis (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, infectious syphilis and hepatitis B) occur among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly in remote and very remote communities. 

  • InFocus
  • 25 May 2018
Dan McAullay

Grand designs make way for career in health research

Nursing and research wasn’t what Associate Professor Dan McAullay had in mind when he first began university but it was exactly where he was meant to end up.

  • InFocus
  • 30 January 2018

Blending disability and Indigenous research

‘The rate of disability among Indigenous Australians is almost twice as high as that among non-Indigenous people'1

  • InFocus
  • 13 December 2017

Bringing innovative research into clinical practice

Now an ear, nose and throat surgeon, Associate Professor Kelvin Kong was destined for health care. Growing up Kelvin and his sisters were always keen to help his mother, a Registered Nurse, whenever she had a one of their mob come around to remove a suture, tend to a cut or get a vaccination.

  • InFocus
  • 13 December 2017

Knowledge in closing the gap

‘For nurses, working with an Indigenous health worker can bring great opportunities for professional collaboration and improved community health care’1

  • InFocus
  • 20 November 2017

Helping the minds of Indigenous Australians age well

Indigenous Australians are three to four times more likely to develop dementia. That is higher than any other population in the world.1

  • InFocus
  • 5 October 2017
Doctor Judith Katzenellenbogen and her team

Linking the data to close the gap in heart health

“Chronic diseases account for 70 per cent of the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.1”

  • InFocus
  • 18 September 2017
Dr Vanessa Lee

As black women do research

'Still, we rise… as black women do 

Culturally bonded, spiritually empowered, strength and resilience valuable tools,

with integrity and generational humbleness, we are the drivers, backbone, visionaries,

feelers, healers, leaders, prophetic with degrees in silence-ness.

Excerpt from poem As Black Women Do: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s resilience by Vanessa Lee. 

Published in Us Women, Our Ways, Our World

  • InFocus
  • 18 September 2017
Mary Jane Black and Associate Professor Gurmeet Singh, Professor Wendy Hoy

Protecting premature babies from kidney disease

‘18 per cent of all Indigenous Australian adults have chronic kidney disease—two times as likely as non-Indigenous Australians.’

  • InFocus
  • 7 September 2017
Yvonne Cadet-James, Professor Sandra Eades, Ali Drummond, Professor Kelvin Kong, and Dr Yvette Roe

Chance leads an Indigenous woman into a health and medical research career

I always wanted to become a nurse, so I used to practice on dolls and teddy bears, and sometimes younger siblings, who drew the line at some procedures-like operations’

  • InFocus
  • 31 March 2017

Extraordinary life of an Indigenous medical researcher

‘I have just felt really privileged for most of my life, I love my work, I love what I do, and I really enjoy the people I work with, and it comes from spending part of my career in medical research. It just gives you a lot of flexibility and opportunities that you don’t get with standard clinical hospital jobs or general practice.’

  • InFocus
  • 16 March 2017

Taking a leap into the research world

‘It is important to me to be a role model, an example of a strong resilient Aboriginal woman who can achieve anything she sets her mind to.’

  • InFocus
  • 17 February 2017

Combatting tropical disease

Mark is a microbiologist, whose love of science and fascination with how the world works led to a life-long passion in medical research.

  • InFocus
  • 24 January 2017